Grant prepares to lock horns with Keane
CHRIS LAKEY Carrow Road could witness a spectacular Battle of the Dugouts this afternoon as two of the Championship's most highly-charged managers come head to head.
Carrow Road could witness a spectacular Battle of the Dugouts this afternoon as two of the Championship's most highly-charged managers come head to head.
Light the blue touch paper and wait for the sparks to fly when City boss Peter Grant squares up against Sunderland's Roy Keane on the touchline in front of a packed 25,000 crowd.
Grant has been in charge for just five matches, but has already acquired a reputation for being a touchline prowler, kicking every ball and hardly managing to restrain himself from the confines of his technical area.
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But should he repeat his midweek antics when he manhandled Colchester's Geraint Williams in his attempts to get to the ball, he could find himself squaring up to a much more fearsome adversary.
Keane - reported to have “gone mad” at his team after their midweek defeat by Cardiff - has terrorised players and match officials alike up and down the country during an illustrious playing career and will clearly not stand for any truck from Grant, despite the bonding link that both have with Celtic.
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The atmosphere will be white hot - but Grant expects them both to be on their best behaviour
“It's alright, we have come across each other many a time,” he said. “There have always been battle scars, but at the end of the day you get on with it.
“I think there is a mutual respect there - he wants his team to win and I am no different. It could be a noisy area, so earmuffs could be useful round about the dug-out for both the supporters and the rest of the staff.
“It is not about us on the side of the pitch, it's the teams on the pitch - I'm just glad he's not playing.”
Grant is expecting it to be tough on the pitch against a side that are just one place above City, on goal difference.
“They are going to give us a major test because they are another team trying to prove to a manager that they deserve to be playing for Sunderland Football Club,” said Grant.
“It is a club that is desperate to get back to the Premiership, like ourselves. They have got good players and a manager there who was a winner himself and he is going to instil that into his players.
“He has made decisions early in his managerial career that show he is not scared to make decisions quickly. He is going to bring in a winning environment and will be expecting nothing else when they come here.
“We have to be physical as well, able to pass the ball and move the ball and when it comes to matching people up you have got to be able to manage that.”